A journey begins

moon_harvest_9-30-2012_Domenico_D_Erchia_ItalyMy people were rural folk. I grew up among grandmothers, great-grandmothers, aunts and other wise women who planted, harvested, weaned babies – even timed haircuts – by the phases of the moon.

Want something to expand or grow? Initiate it in the New Moon and before the end of the Full Moon. Want to tie up loose ends on some project or move something on and out of your experience? Tackle it in the waning Moon (after the Full Moon, and before the next Dark Moon, which immediately precedes the New Moon).

As educated and sophisticated as I may think all my worldly travels have made me, I still look to the Moon phase before planning most life events. I even have an App on my iPhone which updates me on the Moon’s cycles, including alerts for New, Full, and Dark Moon events.

At around 4am EDT this morning, we welcomed another New Moon. It seemed a fitting time for me to begin my 29-day giving journey. I don’t plan to blog about every gift and for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that some will be gifts that I want to remain anonymous. Today however, was my kick-off and I found the experience worth sharing.

I have learned from several spiritual teachers the concept that one of them calls the “Second Force”. It is the appearance of roadblocks to achieving your goals of Good that appear just as you’re about to begin something. Evangelical Christians often refer to this phenomenon as “the Devil”.  I like to think about it as our own higher self checking in with us to see how committed we really are to whatever journey we are beginning. I also happen to think that this signals the importance of the project in which we are about to engage.

Gift #1 was Bagels for my team at work. I’m second in command in a healthcare facility with a department of around 60 employees. Many of them work from home, but more than half of us were in today, and I thought that everyone would enjoy the breakfast surprise.

I planned to take FRESH bagels, so I got up a little early and plotted my quick run through the drive-thru and lickety-split: easy giving on Day 1.

Not so fast…

As I ordered up the batch of bagels, and asked for them to be sliced, the voice came over the speaker.

“I’m sorry Ma’am – we can’t fill that order in the Drive-Thru; you’ll have to come in the store.”

I looked at my watch, said “thanks” and pulled around the building.

For a brief moment I considered just continuing on out of the parking lot and up the freeway to work. I could figure out something ELSE to give today, or I could…

I pulled into a parking spot and went into the building, telling myself this would be quick and was still the great idea that I thought it was last night.

As I placed my order, one of the Bagel-meisters grabbed a large knife.

Gulp. They were going to cut each bagel by hand.

I wanted to look at my watch but decided that at this point, it was what it was, and I was NOT going to let small incidents that fell off of MY plan to derail my 1st gift. I relaxed and finished picking out the bagel flavors with care to the number of salty, sweet; plain and fancy so that there was something for everyone.

When I went to the cashier to pay, the manager came out and after exchanging a few niceties she said “You look like a business woman,” (I was in a suit); “the next time you want to pick up bagels for work, call us here at this number (she circled it on the receipt) and we’ll have your order bagged up and ready to go. You can even come to the Drive-Thru to pick up your order.  Just be sure to give us about a 30 minute heads-up!”

I thanked her, smiled and took my bag of bagels.

It was nice of her to notice that I could have benefited from a more expedient process. It was wonderful to smell the fresh-baked bagels and I was especially pleased at the care each bagel was packed with, separating the onion and garlic from the cinnamon raisin and blueberry ones.

I left the store and headed up that freeway and still made it to work on time. The traffic was uncharacteristically light and I found my usual parking place – small but welcome events early in the morning.

Once in the door, I sent out an email inviting everyone to stop over for a fresh bagel and cream cheese.

“TGIF!” I wrote and added a smiley face 🙂

The bagels were a hit and I received many thank you’s throughout the day.

Later in the day I realized that my giving journey kicked off , unintentionally, with bread. Metaphysically, bread represents the teachings of the Divine, while wine represents the life of the Divine. I am embarking on this giving journey to learn; to go deeper into the examination of my own spirituality, as well as my connection to the Divine. It was most fitting to begin with bread and I’m looking forward to the gifts that will follow, knowing that I will be led, as usual, by that “power for Good in the Universe”.

And so It is,…



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